(The following is a Letter to Editor by Ron Hamblin / photos via internet)
I wanted to share with you an experience I had this week with Ferrell Gas customer service in what may be the rudest I have ever been treated by any business.
Recently we installed a heat pump at our home after using propane to heat with for years. As propane rates began raise, I thought it would be more cost effective with a heat pump plus the air conditioning end of it in the summer didn’t sound too bad. I still use the propane in the winter time to take the chill off in the mornings. That being said I only need 50-100 gallons in the winter.
My neighbor called Ferrell Gas Monday and ordered propane and his was a reasonable $1.59 per gallon. Being on his friends and family, I figured I would call and see what kind of deal I could get. The lady that answered the phone was pleasant and looked up my rate and she stated it would be $1.18 per gallon. I put her on speaker phone so my neighbor could hear her. I asked her 3 times if she was sure since my neighbor’s was $1.59 per gallon. She explained my neighbor was on a fixed rate year round. I told her I needed 50 gallons at that rate and was happy for it. She processed my order which would be $59.00.
The next day, Ferrell Gas delivery man showed up to deliver our propane. He filled up my neighbor’s tank and gave him his receipt which showed what he was told, at $1.59 per gallon. The delivery man then delivered the 50 gallon I ordered. When he handed me my ticket, I was shocked. The bill read $2.37 a gallon and also had a Hazmat charge of $15.99 which I had never paid before. With propane and fees, my bill ended up at $134.50. Nearly$80.00 more than I was quoted the day before. I asked the driver about it and he said that was on his computer and I would have to call the main office.
After a lengthy wait I finally got a young lady on the phone and she said the best she could do would be $1.45 a gallon, but she would have to talk to her supervisor about fixing their pricing mistake and remove the hazmat fee. After being on hold a bit, I was told that my rate was $2.37 per gallon and she could not remove the Hazmat fee.
For those of you that do not know, the hazmat fee has ZERO REASON to be on your bill. It is a way for a propane company to obtain $15.99 from you under the approval of the Public Service Commission. I asked the young lady to put me through to her supervisor. She said her supervisor would have to call me back.
Later in the morning, I got a call from a supervisor named Cathy. Cathy would start off rude and didn’t let up. She was course, rude and disrespectful. When I tried to talk, she would cut me off. When I finally got a chance to talk, I asked her why she was being confrontational, after all it was their customer service lady that made the quote. I told her I was quoted $1.18 for 50 gallons. Cathy’s response was that the other lady quoted me half the rate of 100 gallons which made it $1.18 per gallon. If I had gotten 100 gallons then it would have been $2.37 per gallon. I had to ask her to repeat her comment because it made no sense whatsoever. If it is $1.18 for 50 gallons, wouldn’t it be $1.18 for 100 gallons. I’m no rocket scientist, but I did stay at the Holiday Inn and her explanation was mind boggling.
This continued on with her not shutting up for 10 minutes or so. I said, “Ma’am if you will give me a minute to explain”, and she again cut me off and kept being belligerent and rude until finally I said, “Ma’am if you would SHUT UP a minute, We can resolve this”. She then said NOONE is going to tell her to shut up and hung up on me. I have never been talked to so bad by any business and the sad thing was, this was 100% their fault.
It gets better from there. I called back and got another service rep named Amy who was very nice, cordial and respectful. I asked her for their corporate office information as I wanted to file a complaint against Cathy for her course behavior. Amy asked me to let her try to help me before I reported Cathy. After 15 minutes of discussing the whole situation, Amy said she could give me the propane at a rate of $1.45 a gallon and try to remove the Hazmat Fee. We both agreed on this and I figured that was the end of it.
Later on in the day, I get another call from Amy and she said she was sorry but I wasn’t going to be happy. She stated that her supervisor, I am assuming it was Cathy, told Amy that my rate was $2.37 and the Hazmat Fee would not be removed. On top of that they were adding a yearly tank lease fee of $35.00. Also, they stated that there would be a minimum usage fee of $100 if I did not use at least 200 gallons in a year. These are fees I have never paid in my 3 plus years with Ferrell Gas.
I explained to Amy that 20% of the propane in the tank was already paid for and when I used that amount, they can come get their tank. I explained to her that I would be filing a complaint with Ferrell Gas Corporate office as well as the Public Service Commission due to the treatment I received when it was their fault.
For those of you dealing with Ferrell Gas and having issues, I suggest you research and switch to another company. Ferrell Gas is not the only company around.
You can google other Propane businesses and research for yourself.
Jackson Propane Plus – Bonnyman, KY – 606-435-0053
Jackson Propane Plus – Beattyville, KY – 606-464-0207
Morgan County Propane – Ezel, KY – 606-743-2619
American Gas (Formerly Empire Gas)- Perry County
Caney Valley Propane – West Liberty, KY – 606-743-2748
Hardy Gas – Irvine, KY – 606-723-2496
Check around, get the best deal. You do not have to be disrespected as I was, when it was entirely their fault to begin with. I understand mistakes, but people like CATHY who seems to hate her job, needs to find a job more suitable with her attitude, possibly shoveling pig crap or running a septic truck emptying porta potty’s. Seems it would suit her attitude.
What do I know, it’s just my opinion.